Men's Basketball Defeats Lipscomb
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Behind a fast start and more solid defense, Belmont men's basketball defeated Lipscomb Thursday night, 88-52.
Before a boisterous, standing room only crowd of 5,123, the Bruins again showcased high levels of focus and unselfishness from the opening tip.
A baseline three-pointer from junior Drew Hanlen (St. Louis, Mo.) gave Belmont a 9-1 lead two and a half minutes in. After a layin from Josh Slater, the Bruins used an 11-0 run over the next four minutes to increase the lead to 20-3, with 13:47 left in the half.
Junior Scott Saunders (New Orleans, La.), sophomore Ian Clark (Memphis, Tenn.), sophomore Kerron Johnson (Huntsville, Ala.) and senior Jordan Campbell (Indianapolis, Ind.) all scored during the run. Moreover, the Bruins earned seven consecutive defensive stops during the run to ignite the offense.
Five more Hanlen points stretched the margin to 25-7 with 11:45 left in the half. Bruin depth and defensive pressure took Lipscomb out of its offensive rhythm.
Consecutive three-point field goals from Hanlen and freshman J.J. Mann (Smyrna, Ga.) gave Belmont a 31-10 lead with 7:59 left in the half.
After Slater got Lipscomb within 33-18 on a steal and layin, Clark answered with a deep wing three-pointer.
Moments later, Jordan Burgason would hit a short jump shot for the Bisons, before junior Mick Hedgepeth (Crossville, Ala.) raced downcourt and scored at the rim off a timely feed from Hanlen.
The Bruins ended the half with a straight-on three-pointer from Mann to lead at halftime, 43-21.
Belmont shot 50 percent (16-for-32) from the field in the opening 20 minutes - including 7-for-17 from three-point distance. The Bruins limited Lipscomb to 24 percent shooting while forcing seven turnovers.
After Jacob Arnett hit a three-pointer for Lipscomb to open the second half, Clark and Hedgepeth hit consecutive three-pointers, and Hedgepeth added a layin to give Belmont a 51-24 lead with 17:25 left.
As Belmont continued to defend and rebound well, a determined offensive rebound basket from Saunders and a three-pointer from Johnson made the score 57-29 with 14:56 remaining.
The Bruins also used a team effort to limit Lipscomb standout Adnan Hodzic. The Atlantic Sun Conference's leading scorer at nearly 20 points per game, made his first field goal with 14:42 remaining in the game.
Clark capped a 14-0 run - highlighted by nine straight defensive stops - with a three-pointer to give Belmont a 73-34 lead with 8:52 left.
All told, Belmont shot 48 percent (30-for-63) from the field - including 13-for-31 from three-point distance. The Bruins held Lipscomb to 29.7 percent shooting - the team's second straight game holding an opponent to under 30 percent shooting.
Belmont outrebounded Lipscomb, 52-33.
Hanlen led five Bruins in double figures with a career-high tying 17 points. He added a game-high seven assists.
Hedgepeth tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh career double-double. Clark and Johnson each scored 12 points, Saunders scored 11.
Brandon Barnes led Lipscomb (9-7, 4-3 Atlantic Sun) with 11 points.
Belmont (15-3, 7-0 Atlantic Sun) returns to action Saturday against Campbell. Tip-off is set for 7:15pm CT.
The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. Live video streaming will be available via ASun.TV.